‘It’s been a long time coming’: BCCS opens in Kelowna

Published on September 2, 2021 by David Wylie

Photo: David Wylie/the oz.

Those working in BC’s provincial cannabis stores want you to learn about the weed that you’re smoking.

The back wall of the Kelowna BC Cannabis Stores’ location is dedicated to that cause.

“We’re the only cannabis retailer that dedicates this type of space to education for consumers,” says Kevin Satterfield, the director of retail operations, cannabis operations, at the BC LDB.

  RELATED: Q&A with Director of Retail at the BCCS

“People just aren’t up to date. It doesn’t have to be a Sativa with high THC. It can be a Sativa with an array of terpenes that give me the effect I’m looking for.”

The Kelowna store opened this week in the old De Dutch location in the Dilworth Plaza. It’s the 30th government-run store to open in the province.

There are 350-400 different products available at the 2,655-sq.-ft. location.

It’s been a long time coming. We’re just really excited to be in this market,” says Satterfield. “We want to be part of the community. We’re excited to be here finally.”

He describes the store as “comfortable.”

A display the Kelowna BCCS team made themselves, which highlights Okanagan fruit and ties into the edibles market. Photo: David Wylie/the oz.

It will be staffed by four full-time employees, as well as six part-time employees.

Satterfield says the BCCS teaches consultants to educate customers, and reinforce that they represent the brand itself.

“Every one of our consultants is basically a branding for us in order to make sure the customer remembers them and then ties it back to BC Cannabis Stores,” he says.

Though the store still supplies paper and pencils for customers to write their order down, Satterfield says the BCCS is working toward an evolution where customers can send their order to the cashier directly from the iPads in the store.

Satterfield says demand for pre-rolls and large format have all exponentially grown recently. The Kelowna location carries 60 different varieties of flower. With some ounces hovering around $99, he says the $4.50 per gram mark is effective in disrupting the black market

For vape carts, he says once one-gram carts hit $39.99 they really started moving

The view from just inside the door. Photo: David Wylie/the oz.

One of the next to open will be the Old Orchard location at Kingsway and Willingdon, near Metrotown in Burnaby. The store will be just over 4,000 sq.ft.

He compares it to the New West location, which has done “incredibly well.”

Satterfield has decades of experience in retail, including 17 years at Future Shop and Best Buy in IT and retail. He also worked in Kelowna at SportMart.

He has a personal tie to the Okanagan, as his kids were born in Penticton and the family lived in West Kelowna. His son is also in the cannabis industry.

“It’s good to be here and be part of it because you feel some ownership towards delivering on behalf of the customer,” he says. “It just happens to be a government store. And that’s what we’re saying, that no matter what we’re just a retailer that happens to sell cannabis.”

ORIGINAL: Aug. 30, 2021

A government cannabis store is nearly ready to open in Kelowna.

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch announced Monday a BC Cannabis Stores location will open Sept. 1 in the Okanagan city.

Located in the Dilworth Shopping Centre along Highway 97, the store was initially set to open Aug. 13; however, a fire damaged the outside of the building in July.

The 2,655-sq.-ft. store Kelowna location will be the 30th government-run store to open in the province. It will be staffed by four full-time employees, as well as six auxiliary employees.

“This is the first government-run cannabis store to open in Kelowna and the fifth to open this year after Sechelt, Saanich, Prince George and Abbotsford,” says Kevin Satterfield, the director of retail operations, cannabis operations, at the BC LDB. 

The province says all BCCS locations are designed to be bright, clean, and welcoming.

Officials invited the oz. to a sneak peek of the location.